PC Gamer
01_Meteor_Strike_Magick_(Famous_from_Trailer)

Imagine a game of Dota 2 in which everyone on both teams is playing Invoker, set on League of Legends' Dominion map, and you'll have a rough idea of the general PvP insanity that is Magicka: Wizard Wars. Combining a handful of arcane elements in three-key invocations, the object is to work with your team to secure all three of the radially-placed control points on the map, preventing the enemy from respawning. I found myself thrust into the middle of it all, a simple country skull-basher with little in the way of magical education, to blast, soak, and zap my way through a 4v4 with a few other journalists and some of the game's developers. It took less than 10 minutes to become terminally on fire.
Wizard Wars eschews enough of the standard fare to dodge the "MOBA" label—minions don't play much of a role, and towers, in-game shops, and ability leveling are nonexistent. What it has in common with the Dota-likes, however, is the fact that I found myself calculating odds and planning ahead to the next potential team fight every time I wasn't actively engaged in freezing or burning an enemy conjurer's non-face off. As a matter of fact, Wizard Wars is probably one of the most cognitive games of its kind I've ever played.
Magicka's elements interact realistically with one another, allowing you to designate a team-mate as "Fire Extinguisher Guy."
Among the spells your wizard can cast is a shield that can give you 50 percent resistance to two different elements, or make you immune to one. I found that a large part of winning the game was anticipating what elements I was most likely to get hit with from which players, and tuning my shield accordingly before the first shot was fired. An enemy's active shield is displayed by colored rings around his feet, meaning that one-on-one fights often become a dance of juggling attack and defense elements until somebody's rock bashes up the other's scissors. Things get even more complicated when you factor in attacks using multiple elements, as well as special combos that can create area effects, impede movement, or block enemy projectiles altogether.
Outside of a match, you can customize your wizard's gear (Staff, Robes, Melee Weapon, and a trinket of some sort), as well as his roster of Magicks. Magicks are non-elemental special skills which can be used once you've built up a fighting game-esque super meter—the devs cited Street Fighter as a big inspiration for Wizard Wars' combat. Magicks become progressively more powerful as you fill more of the bar, culminating in being able to drop a meteor storm that can (and in one match, did) kill the entire enemy team in one shot. Or, you know, your entire team. This is Magicka, after all. Friendly fire is enabled in all of its rage-inducing glory, adding one more element you need to keep track of in big teamfights.
Holding these glowy circles depletes your enemies' respawn tickets. Holding them all prevents respawning entirely.
With all of its layers of complexity, Paradox North is taking a surprisingly simple framework and building a tactically complex and fairly unique PvP experience. More of your important decisions are moved out of the item shop and ability bar, and onto the battlefield, creating a meta that has more to do with intuition and mind games than optimization and spreadsheets. If you'd like to leap into the cloak-clothed fray yourself, sign-ups for the alpha have already begun. According to Paradox, the game will "probably" launch free-to-play, and a founder's program is under consideration.
PC Gamer
Magicka: Wizard Wars


After the hilarious, Game of Thrones-spoofing live action trailer this year and the screenshots that came a couple of months afterwards, the Video Game Marketing Formula dictates that the next stop on Magicka: Wizard Wars' press tour is a gameplay trailer, which you'll find neatly packaged behind the cut. Paradox is on a roll with these.

This—and the constant threat of getting scorched by friendly fire—is looking to be super fun. There's just something so delightful about the possibility of unleashing all those ground-shaking powers upon otherwise tranquil fantasy meadows dotted with asparagus farms and quaint wagons, you know? (And I fully expect the dance moves at 0:52 to have devastating effect upon one's foes.)

Though the 4v4 MOBA-inspired PvP game is not due for release till 2014, you can sign up for alpha-testing funtimes on the Magicka: Wizard Wars site now. Gosh, Billy. I swear the ice blast I just aimed squarely at your face was an accident!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I killed all of my friends when playing Magicka. Sometimes I even did it on purpose. Fingers dancing across keys to program arcane combinations into a staff, which then unleashes…something. Maybe a flaming boulder that is determined to explode, perhaps a jet of steam that sears the skin off any sorcerers in its path. If Magicka were a fighting game, slipping up slightly mid-combo would cause your character to chew his own leg off or punch himself in the face so hard that both fist and face were reduced to powder. Wizard Wars is a PvP Magicka game. You will> be reduced to powder, ashes and fragments. Jim is already a believer and I’m ready to join him. Alpha signups are now open and you can see the game in action below.

(more…)

Announcement - Valve
Day 3 of the Paradox Publisher Weekend is officially under way! The Daily Deal for today is Magicka and a number of other great fantasy titles at 75% off!

All weekend long, titles in the Paradox catalog are on sale for 50% off. Be sure to check back each day this weekend for great new deals!

PC Gamer
Magicka: Wizard Wars


Turns out those faceless dudes from the Game of Thrones-spoofing announcement trailer aren't any less creepy when pulled out of the realm of live-action. I was hoping the hollow blackness of the wizards' heads might be downplayed a little in Magicka: Wizard War's art, but I guess I can forgive them when that much fire and lightning is bursting from their limbs.

As we detailed back in March, this is a 4v4 MOBA-influenced take on the Magicka series, involving teamplay and the tussling over of spawn points in a melding of hardcore mechanics and "instantly approachable" chaotic gameplay. Friendly fire is in full effect, so, try not to aim at your friends' faces, no matter how pretty those spells look.





Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Magicka!

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

Product Release - Valve
Magicka: Tower of Niflheim, all new content for Magicka is Now Available on Steam.

As you all might know, being dead does not mean being unable to die again. What happens when you die twice? Nobody knows, but everyone is fairly certain that an after-afterlife is utter rubbish and an absurd fairytale.

What is certain is that being lost in Niflheim, the land of the dead, is inconvenient. A group of wizards learned this the hard way. So in order to get out they devised a plan - to go up and see if they can get out that way. With neither a rope, ladder, helicopter or multi-purpose ascension ointment, their only choice is to try to build themselves upwards... using the bodies of their friends!

Product Update - Valve
Patch 1.4.14.1 – Small content update today. Bear in mind that it might take a while before you’re able to purchase the DLC, depending on when it pops up in the Steam Store.

Content:
• Added new Versus DLC: Tower of Niflheim

PC Gamer
Magicka


It's not a MOBA, the devs have made that much clear in interviews, but Magicka's 4v4 multiplayer spin-off looks a bit like one. Going by glimpses at GDC, it's a game of territorial control in which two teams tussle over spawn points - and you can even bring AI goblin minions along to help. In action though, it retains the same accessibly splashy and chaotic combo spellcraft that defined the original game, albeit with a few streamlining tweaks. We'll be bringing you a heartier preview soon, but here are the first few tidbits of info.

You still use the same stackable eight elemental spells to build up combos, but the modifiers that let you differentiate between area-of-effect, direct attacks and self-cast spells have been stripped out in favour of simply changing the spell type depending on whom you target. I'm not sure how this will change the way, say, beam spells are cast - since previously you didn't need to select a target, but could sweep your gleaming eldritch laser back and forth across the enemy.

Still, if it's being simplified in some respects, it's getting depth in others: staff sidegrades now boost your abilities with a certain element, but make you vulnerable against others, while the powerful spells learnt from scrolls now occupy one of several pre-equipped slots, and require lengthy cooldowns.

The game's some nine months into development at Paradox North, rather than at Arrowhead Studios, the original Magicka creators. No payment model has been confirmed yet, but though the abundance of unlockable hats point to F2P as an easy option, the developers have made positive noises about the paid-alpha model epitomised by the likes of Mojang. With a Wizard Wars alpha promised in the imminent future, we'll likely find out soon.
PC Gamer
Wizard Wars


Earlier this month, we were teased that something new in the Magicka franchise was coming. We were told that it wasn't an expansion or new DLC. Today, this was revealed to be Magicka: Wizard Wars. Developed by a new studio, Paradox North, it's billed as a four-on-four, PvP-focused game. Check out the trailer above, and see if you can guess which landmark fantasy book series turned successful HBO show they might be spoofing. Challenge level: Targaryen.

We don't know much else about the game yet, but I'll be meeting with the Paradox team within their shrouded sanctum today during the kick off of GDC 2013 here in San Francisco. So stay tuned for more information.
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